Kind and Envies Not
- Date: January 16, 2004
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: "Charity...is kind; charity envieth not..." (1 Corinthians 13:4)
- From Spiritual Life - Spiritual Fruit
Love is kind. Are you kind? Does kindness and tenderness, dominate your life? Is the first response you have compassion, or do you have the drill sergeant mentality? Love is kind and compassionate. There's no abrasiveness in our lives as Christians. There are times that we contend for the faith, bring reproof and rebuke, but that's done in kindness, beloved. It's not done in self-righteous, haughty, demanding tones. You don't have to become harsh to make a point, because we're kind. Our first response in the Spirit is always one of gentleness and mildness. Many of us have the wrong concept of what it means to be strong. Strength is the ability to be gentle--that sweet reasonableness.
How do you respond to sinners? You see those kids where everything that can be pierced is pierced. They've got freaky yellow and orange and blue hair that's spiking out everywhere and black fingernails and black lipstick. Do you respond to them with kindness? Or do you abhor them? Can you approach that person and understand the love that God has for their soul? Can you approach that person and be gentle and kind and meek in presenting the gospel to them? Can you hate their sin kindly and gently? You see, God loves those that He hates. It's paradoxical to our natural mind, but you can understand it because the Spirit lives in you. When we've been treated so gently and so kindly by Father, shouldn't that be the natural response that we have to others?
Paul goes on to say that there's no envy in love. Envy is a sickness, a grieving, an unsettledness when someone possesses something a little better than what you have--better husband, better job, greater gifts. They're better looking or they're smarter. They have more natural or spiritual blessings. There's just uneasiness. You're wondering, "Why? Why do they get that? They don't deserve that. They're no better than I am." That's the envious spirit, a negative response to the love of God, a judging of the love of God. "God doesn't love me as much as He loves them." This envious spirit is a spirit that truly believes, "I am more deserving than everybody else." It's a derivative of pride, but it manifests itself in observing what others possess. It's a response to the external. True love rejoices as equally in the benefit of others, in the prosperity of others, as it does in one's own acquisition, fame, fortune, health, or whatever it might be.
I've had to deal with people in counseling over the years that were really envious of other people getting healed and they still had to suffer. It sounds awfully ugly, but it's what's in every one of us if we don't walk in the spirit. Preferring others better than ourselves is not natural. That's the fruit of the Spirit. That's life in the Spirit. Do you ever find yourself thinking that you should have equal to what everybody that you know has or better? It can manifest itself in a lot of ways. Envy is not just that somebody has more than you; an envious person is even uncomfortable when somebody has the same thing they have. "Somehow I must become pre-eminent." It's a spirit that always seeks to elevate. It's a spirit that always perceives itself in a predominant role. Were you truly excited when your friend was picked the captain of the team? Were you really thrilled for your best friend's life's mate, new home, new automobile? Were you able to delight in your friend's child getting picked most valuable, most popular, and not yours? It's in every one of our members. But love suffers long, is kind and envies not.